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Posts published in January 2011

HQ going away, but maybe not far

In a Seattle Times Jon Talton column today, this list of Puget Sound area corporate headquarters that have gone away - somewhere - over the last decade: "It's a painful list: Boeing, Washington Mutual, Safeco, Immunex, Puget Sound Energy during the last decade."

The point of the column was to add another: Todd Pacific Shipyards, where 800 people in the area have worked.

At least this one isn't going far away: The new owner, probably (the deal evidently isn't final), is Vigor Industrial of Portland.

Talton adds this significant point: "Publicly traded Todd is essentially in play, and other bidders might emerge. Vigor is privately held and less vulnerable to Wall Street's destructive whims (take note, Microsoft and others)."

#1 from 10: The flat-line stat

The change that didn't.

From the beginning of the year to the end of the year, the region's unemployment percentages remained steady-state. It was the kind of solid, stable number that could be a good thing if it were a great deal lower. Every month, the state employment or labor departments in Washington, Oregon and Idaho would report their unemployment numbers. And every month, they would change hardly at all.

In November, Washington's unemployment rate was 9.2%, exactly the same as the month before.

A couple of weeks ago, from our Oregon Public Affairs Digest: "Oregon’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 10.6% in November, essentially unchanged from 10.5% in October. The rate has been between 10.5 and 10.7 percent for the most recent 13 months. Oregon’s unemployment rate was 10.7 percent in November 2009."

In Idaho, a little more movement up and down, but not much: "Idaho's rate, a tenth below a recession high of 9.5% in February, remained below the national rate for nine years and two months. The state rate has exceeded the year-earlier rate for 39 straight months. The rate in November 2009 was 9%."

Sooner or later, it's gotta change. But it didn't in 2010.